The baseball competition between the teams was beginning to heat up. I could feel the tension, even though I was watching the game on television 12 time zones away. The situation had every possibility of getting ugly. I could identify with the team that had been hit the most times for many reasons. There were several calls from behind the plate in favor of the other team. Additionally, there were actions, including pitches that hit batters, taken by the visitors that were fueling the tension! This had the potential to go terribly wrong for one or both sides.
My attitude froze on a single pitch. A reliever had come in to make a point. It was unlikely that he was going to last the inning. He was on a mission. He eyes were focused; nothing was going to distract him. He knew it. The players could see it coming. Even I knew it. A statement had to be made.
As much as I thought I knew what statement needed to be made, I did not anticipate a brush back pitch as the first pitch. It was brutal. It was dangerous. It didn’t but easily could have caused an injury.
Sport is often a living metaphor for what naturally occurs in life. As I watched pitchers deliver competing messages, I kept thinking of an old plea – “send the upstarts sprawling flat on their faces in the mud.” (Psalm 36.12) There was no mud in sight but everyone was sprawling in one way or another.
I can think of a few times where I wished this on someone around me. As I looked back, I do not think I could see the human being within. All I could see at the time was a competitor looking to do me harm! He had attacked. He was being aggressive. Calls were not going my way. A brush-back pitch was needed. He needed to get, no feel a message.
As I stared in my rearview mirror I wondered about the outcome. Why was this the only option? There was/is more.